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HIGHLY UNDER-RATED FILM!!! This is a great film!!!
This film was very poorly received. Even critics seemed to disregard it. Of course it was a flop. These type of films are never well-received in Kerala. Even my friends and my brother who have seen it said it was a terrible terrible boring movie.
I saw this movie on DVD solely for 2 reasons
1) The film got one of the best titles in Malayalam cinema- "PATHAM NILAYILE THEEVANDI" (aka TRAIN IN THE 10TH FLOOR)
2) The film is written by Dennis Joseph(adapted from his own short story)
I saw the film and was completely immersed and engulfed by the movie, from the first scene onwards. I dig the character of Innocent. I felt how he felt. The lighting and bright cinematography dragged me into the atmosphere of the mental hospital. I felt every pain by the character Shankaran. I could in every scene completely identify with Innocent's performance. The performance was great. Towards the middle, in several scenes, tears came down from my eyes. Its hyper-depressing and hyper- realistic. Its got depression written all over the movie. The cinematography (which I wouldn't call great or even good) is totally depressing. There is intense use of sunlight and the heat of the sun in every scene. There is not a movie that shows the depression surrounding a mental hospital in Malayalam as much as this one. Its hyper- depressing. Believe me. And you could feel with it. Not like those so- called-art-films that come out every year. You can engage in this movie.
People I talked to called this movie too boring. I don't think so. I think the pace is uncanny. The editing is done by Bina Paul. Its a great editing work. The pace is in pact with the emotional speed of the audience. I saw this movie three times( 2 times in 2009 and the third viewing today) and never even felt that this is a boring movie. I seemed to enjoy the feeling of depression imposed by movies. This movie has given me a lot of that.
The only drawback I could think of was with the last scene. When Anoop Menon comes to the house. That scene is too long and badly scripted and filmed. The rest of it, I completely enjoyed. I understand the bad response the movie was getting. People cant withstand almost 2 hours of a drama about a mental patient. Yeah, its about a mental patient suffering from schizophrenia. But if you give yourself a try, if you want to enjoy a good character- driven-emotional-drama watch this. I warn you, Its hyper-depressing. And one of the best Malayalam films made in the recent years. This film, I think is better than National award winning Adaminte makan Abu or T D Daasan Std VI B. The only award I know "PATHAM NILA" got was just a FIPRESCI prize at International film festival of Kerala and a state award for Sound recording, beating Rasool Pookkutty.
Give yourself a try.
"There is no treatment for Schizophrenia"
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